Plans for an assisted living facility on a former industrial yard in Rickmansworth have been approved by the planning inspectorate, despite having been rejected by Three Rivers District Council.
The development would see the construction of a 48-unit facility on the Beeson’s Yard site in Bury Lane, along with additional space for parking and landscaping.
The proposal, which was put forward in August 2021, had caused controversy with nearby residents, with multiple dissenting comments being left on the application on the council’s planning website.
Reasons for opposition included the “imposing” size of the building, which itself could also have led to a reduction in sunlight for the surrounding buildings, and a lack of available parking spaces.
This resistance had also made its way to local councillors, leading to a decision being made to reject the proposal at a planning committee meeting on January 20, with five councillors voting against it and the other five abstaining.
However, NL Care Property Limited lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate, who overturned the rejection on November 4.
In their report on the approval, they stated: “The proposed building would not result in an unduly prominent form of development.
“The proposal would make efficient use of land whilst respecting the distinctiveness of the varied built form in the locality.”
A spokesperson for Batchworth Community Council, who opposed the initial application, said: “This is a disappointing outcome with a significant number of residents’ comments and views being ignored.
“A lot of hard work went into trying to bring the parties together and finding a compromise and we are now faced with the likelihood of site being over developed in the town centre that has a negative effect on the conservation area.”
NL Care and TRDC have also been contacted for comment.
Photo Credit: KWL Architects